NASA EPSCoR SPECIAL PROJECTS

Occasionally NASA EPSCoR will announce a special competition targeting specific activities.  Recently, NASA EPSCoR, in cooperation with the International Space Station (ISS) Research Office, issued a program announcement seeking proposals from past and currently funded large NASA EPSCoR research projects that could use the ISS as a microgravity platform or test bed for a spaceflight demonstration.  The eligible NASA EPSCoR projects must be mature enough to design a research experiment or develop a research experimental hardware to the point that is can be safely flown on the ISS.  NASA EPSCoR would provide up to $100,000 over three years for the winning proposals.

Each funded NASA EPSCoR proposal is expected to perform scientific and/or technical research in areas that support NASA’s strategic research and technology development priorities and contribute to the overall research infrastructure, science and technology capabilities, higher education, and economic development of NASA EPSCoR states.

Utilization of the ISS will further strengthen the relationships between NASA and Maine in the pursuit of national priorities for the advancement of STEM. NASA EPSCoR states are encouraged to create relationships with faculty and students from underrepresented and underserved groups and to establish partnerships and collaborations with minority-serving institutions.

Principal Investigators of several funded NASA EPSCoR research projects in Maine were provided the opportunity to apply to the special program.  Dr. Ali Abedi, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maine elected to submit a proposal through the Maine Space Grant Consortium.  Dr. Abedi’s proposal was one of five that was selected for funding after a national competition. Below is his abstract.

Joint leak detection and localization based on fast Bayesian inference from network of ultrasonic sensors arrays in microgravity environment: Ultrasonic Leak Sensors Arrays. Leaks causing air and heat loss are major source of concern in mission safety. This project involves development of a flight ready wireless sensor system based on recent NASA EPSCoR funded structural health monitoring R&D activities at UMaine. The proposed system will be able to detect and localize leaks based on ultrasonic sensor array signals using a novel fast Bayesian inference technique. The proposed system test and verification in a microgravity environment is expected to expand knowledge of sensor system operations and performance degradations in outer space. Partners include the University of Maine (UMaine) Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Mechanical Engineering (MEE) departments and NASA Johnson Space Center SC ISS Technology demonstration branch.